19th Oct 2012. By Mindy Oon, CM –
God is a God of reconciliation, and this is how the Lord reconciled, restored and liberated the Chans. Juliet Chan told the Lord the day she saw her husband and her son stand side by side, shoulder to shoulder, she would testify of the Lord’s work in her family. This is the Chans’ testimony.
Julius Lim grew up with his grandmother because his mother, Juliet Chan had to earn a living as she was a single parent. She met Jerry Chan when Julius was around eight, and married when he was ten. After Juliet and Jerry got married, Julius now lived with his mom and stepdad. However, he was very much influenced by his grandmother, and his grandmother did not encourage Julius to submit to his parents. Instead she would often override any discipline by Juliet, so much so that Juliet dreaded to answer the phone as her family would call her and ask whether Julius had a stepmother and a stepfather. With the family’s constant negative influence, the little boy soon grew defiant and would often test his parents. Juliet was unable to control his behavior and Jerry had to intervene and discipline Julius.
The Chans moved from KL to Ipoh in December 2001 and after about 5 months, Julius left to KL to further his studies as he had finished Form Five. On the morning he left for KL, Julius told his mother that he “Would never come back again, and if I came back it would only be a daytrip to see you.” He was angry and bitter at the discipline that had been meted out on him. In KL Julius shared an apartment with seven other young people and it was then that he started to appreciate a little the discipline that he had received as there were behaviors among his housemates that he could not accept.
In 2006, Jerry felt that is was necessary on his part to explain to Julius why he had received such firm discipline. As a family, they traveled to KL and I showed Julius a few verses from the Bible, including Proverbs 13v4 which says “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly” and Proverbs 22v6 which states “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Jerry also asked for forgiveness and said sorry for the firm discipline, and that he released Julius in regard to his past behavior. He felt that it was necessary to do it God’s way – to repent, apologize and also release.
As a result, the Chan family became closer, and Julius started coming home more often, and in contrast with what he said to Juliet when he first left for KL, now says that he “leaves with a heavy heart” every time he returns to KL.
However, though there had been reconciliation and restoration, there still had not been full liberation. Jerry realized this one day when Julius came back to Ipoh in July this year for a weekend. Catching up with his mom till 4am in the morning, Jerry told his stepson to switch on the air conditioning when he went to bed. Julius did not, and the reason for this was because he still saw his stepfather as the dominant disciplinarian. When this incident happened Jerry knew that he needed to help Julius on the path to be fully restored and set free.
Once again they travelled to KL and once again Jerry apologized to Julius for the firm discipline. The discipline was what Jerry knew to do at that situation at that time. The desired results were not achieved as Jerry and Juliet were using their own understanding in bringing up their son, instead of seeking the Lord for the right way to do it. Although painful, there was no malice in disciplining their son. As they explained and asked for forgiveness this time, the Chans shed buckets of tears, holding each other in embrace.
Liberation after this was evident, as when Julius next visited, he just switched on the aircon! Julius also told his mother that although he should be ‘angry with dad, he doesn’t know why he still loves his father so much’. His mother replied that the only way this is possible is because of God.
When sharing their testimony, Juliet stressed that throughout the years, every prayer and devotion time was spent asking God for victory in this situation. Throughout the years she has learnt that when we pray, we just have to wait upon God’s timing. We don’t need to ‘kaypoh’ and do things our own way, we have to let God take over. After all, the Word of God tells us that whoever that trusts in the Lord will not be put to shame.
It is God who brings us to a point where we are able to live in peace and surrender to Him. In our own pride we would not be able to humble ourselves for reconciliation. Instead we would try to justify our actions; after all doesn’t it take two hands to clap? It is important that we open our hearts to allow God to work in us and restore our relationships. All glory to God for restoring this family, and setting them free to speak of their past!
Jerry and Juliet Chan worship in FGA Ipoh and are both active in ministry.